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Thread: Booking applications for scout halls

  1. #1
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    Booking applications for scout halls

    We currently use Skedda to allow people to see availability for our hall. Unfortunately they then have to complete a form on our website to actually book a room.

    Does anybody use a particular web service or wordpress plugin to do the two jobs together?

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    I'd be interested to know what people do here too. I just moved to Skedda from supersaas (the latter only allowed 50 bookings at a time on the free version, Skedda has no limits.)

    We had issues with publishing the hall booking schedule and allowing people book it themselves. We have three or four regular bookings, and to be fair to the hirers, it's their livelihood. What was happening was, since we could only book so far into the future on supersaas, beyond the bookings we were able to make for our regular hirers - other people were nipping in and making bookings in their slots. Not really knowing how many bookings we'd made (it seemed to count previous bookings too) - it just got messy.

    So we moved to Skedda.

    It's slightly annoying, since I moved it to Skedda, it's rather let the person who was doing the hall bookings off the hook, and now I'm doing them... Which is really annoying - but I digress. I need to figure out how I can invoice people...

    I'm pretty sure with Skedda, you can allow people to make bookings... That might be a thing you need to pay for though... We're still getting bookings via Facebook, Scout email and my personal email (and probably other volunteers emails and via wom.) Which also causes wires to get crossed. One person needs to do it, preferably not me though.

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    Seems like there's not much interest in this.
    I can't see a way of allowing bookings directly from Skedda either.

    As for making bookings: we only accept bookings via a form on our website. That goes to a "role" address in our domain which is an Office365 group seen by those who manage bookings. Leaders et al are instructed to point people to the website if they contact us any other way. If people persist, we ignore them :-)

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    That's been our biggest hiccup in comms on all fronts - multiple people making and/or accepting communications from multiple sources. Happens with waiting list applications and hall bookings.

    All I'd add about hall bookings is (and we had a similar issue with our minibus), it's not a good idea to allow 'anyone' to make a booking - just in case it ends up clashing with something the group is doing. We even had clashes within the group. First and foremost, the hall is a scout hall, not a community hall. Currently, other volunteers do get word of mouth requests, but everyone now emails round.

    We don't get many one-off bookings, it's all repeat business - week in week out stuff.

    You can actually allow punters to make bookings on Skedda, it's a bit drawn out though. (Maybe you already know this... But anyway...)

    [i](You need to create a tag - which you do by going to the wee cog (settings): venue settings - access & visibility. In the 'Who can book' bit, click the down arrow there by Custom Tags. You need to create a tag there - I created one called 'user'. When you're adding the user (below), apply that tag.[/i]

    Go to 'Users' on the left hand side of the main Skedda screen there.

    Click Add User, put in their email address and name. (If they've been in touch, I assume you'd have it.) This will send them out an account confirmation/set-up-a-password thing - after which they will be able to make bookings.

    They can't change any other bookings, only make there own. You'll need to block out the times when you're using your rooms and obviously allowing other people to make bookings can be problematic.

    Hope that makes sense... I just found all that out recently...
    Last edited by pa_broon74; 12-03-2019 at 02:39 PM. Reason: tags

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    Thanks, but I donít think that would help us.
    I want to be able to display an availability calendar for each of our two rooms and allow new users to provisionally book a slot.
    This would generate an email to an admin who then agrees the details by email and marks the booking as booked.

    Iíve looked at a number of free Wordpress plugins and have a few more to try out on a test site. None of them get to where I want to be so far.

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    [QUOTE=garethhowell;462574]Thanks, but I don’t think that would help us.
    I want to be able to display an availability calendar for each of our two rooms and allow new users to provisionally book a slot.
    This would generate an email to an admin who then agrees the details by email and marks the booking as booked.

    I’ve looked at a number of free Wordpress plugins and have a few more to try out on a test site. None of them get to where I want to be so far.[/QUOTE]

    Hmmm...

    I don't think you'll find a system that does that, at least not a free app anyway.

    In all my years booking hostels (not exactly the same right enough) and I suppose room bookings here at work (and out hall) - it's never done that way round, (where the user checks a calendar, essentially makes a booking, which then has to be authorised via email.) It's always the other way round - they check for availability then get in touch to make the booking.

    If the user makes a booking and they can't have it, it's time wasted for them - and - in between it being made an authorised, there might be scope for confusion. Why not cut straight to the email and since you're going to be going to the calendar to 'authorise' a booking anyway, just make the booking?
    Last edited by pa_broon74; 13-03-2019 at 11:23 AM.

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    Our District campsite uses a set of Google Calendars to create a combined bookings calendar showing the availability of all camping fields and the hut (and even the campfire circle). [url]https://www.wikecampsite.org.uk/gcalendar-whole.php[/url]

    The website has a booking contact form [url]https://www.wikecampsite.org.uk/bookings/[/url] on it which people wishing to make a booking complete which emails the info to the bookings secretary who then adds it to the booking calendar. The key to this working is the bookings secretary adding bookings to the calendar promptly.

    Its all a little manual but it works and bookings can be taken a far into the future as you like.
    Last edited by shiftypete; 13-03-2019 at 08:35 PM.

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
    2003 - 2013 ABSL
    2017-2018 AGSL

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
    www.leeds-solar.co.uk
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    I think the thing with this is, you need *someone* to manage it. It needs oversight.

    When we really started making our hall available for bookings, we blanked out section nights so they couldn't be booked, but the hall still got used occasionally by sections outwith their meeting nights - allowing people to make bookings meant that quite often we had to get back in touch with them to say; "actually no, you can't have the hall."

    To stop the same thing happening with our minibus, that was view only from the beginning.

    We've been quite lucky though, we only occasional get a one-off hall booking, all of ours are repeat bookings, which means a steady income from bookings that tend not to change from one week to the next.

    *edit* Although, the bookings are all fitness classes, it would be nice if they opened a window afterwards... ;) */edit*

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